Wednesday, October 3, 2018


Chapala Birders Newsletter October 2, 2018
119 Species Sighted Last Month 
The complete list of species seen around Lake Chapala is shown at the end of the newsletter.
October is the month for the arrival of all the migrating birds that will spend the winter here in Jalisco. A few early ones have already arrived. Studies show that these birds are now migrating south later in the fall, and going north earlier in the spring, by about a week in each case.
Interesting sightings last month included:
- The Ferruginous Pygmy Owl that everyone on the Jocotepec Bird Walk saw in a silk-oak tree. 
- The Osprey that was seen on the Rosa Amarilla Bird Trip, at the dam where it has been seen several times this year. 
- The unusual Slate-throated Redstart seen on the Las Trojes Bird Walk.  
- The Red-faced warblers seen on the Las Trojes Bird Walk in exactly the same place we usually see them fall and spring.  
- The Roseate Spoonbill and Wilson's Phalarope seen on the Lake Cajititlan Bird Walk.
  An Osprey as seen at Rosa Amarilla last month.

The Osprey weighs three pounds, with a 6-ft wingspan, and is unusual in a number of ways:-  It it one of few birds to have achieved a worldwide distribution.
-  It feeds almost entirely on fish, having adaptations for fishing.
-  It sees in the UV range to better see fish colors under water.
-  The third front toe can be rotated to act as a second rear toe.
-  The claws are highly curved and have barbs to improve grip.
-  It has closeable nostrils for diving 3 ft below the surface.
-  In a dive the head is poked forward between the legs for less drag.
-  It has extra shoulder rotation to allow the wings to perform a vertical takeoff when it comes to the surface with a fish.
Go Birding on Saturday October 6
The Cornell Lab is introducing "October Big Day" to promote birding and to promote the use of e-Bird for recording your sightings. This is intended to supplement the very successful 'Global Big Day' which is held in May of each year.
A Big Day is where serious birders get up really early to visit a series of good birding sites continuing until after sunset, to find the greatest number of species between midnight and midnight. We encourage you to take part this Saturday by going birding somewhere interesting for an hour or more and then reporting your list to eBird.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. We will try to limit day trips to four vehicles, as larger convoys are less manageable. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 100-200 for a day trip).
On Friday October 5, we will carpool at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am, leaving immediately for Villa Corona (60 minutes drive). We expect to see various beach birds such as Red-winged Blackbird, White-faced Ibis, and Roseate Spoonbill. Bring your own mid-morning refreshments. There is no breakfast or lunch stop. We will be back in Ajijic by about 1.30 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at at least 48 hours ahead of time saying whether you will bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning. (We don't always have enough cars).

On Wednesday October 17, we will meet at 8.00 am to carpool at Donas Donuts leaving immediately for the Cajititlan Marsh (30 minutes drive)). We expect to see a variety of marsh and lake birds such as Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, and perhaps a Wood Stork. At about 10.15 we will go Las Delicias restaurant in Chapala for breakfast and complete the bird list. If you plan on going, email John: at least 24 hours ahead of time indicating whether or not you will have a car. (We don't always have enough cars).

On Monday October 29, we will meet a 8.00 am to walk the Allen Lloyd Trail which follows a mile-long arroyo with lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. Expect to see Stripe-headed Sparrow, Greater Pewee and Groove-billed Ani. At 10.15 we will head to Cafe Negro restaurant for breakfast.
How to Get There: Drive up the Libramiento a half mile from the traffic light at Walmart, and park on the north side of the road across from the El Dorado Condominium tower.
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
On September 10, we had 14 people on the trip to the Sierra de Tapalpa which is at 7,500 ft. We saw Gray Silky Flycatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Striped Sparrow, the unusual Black-headed Siskin and five hummingbird species - Berylline, Ruby-throated, Rufous, Rivoli's and White-eared, for a total of 40 species.

On September 19, twelve birders joined us at the Jocotepec Malecon Park where the highlight was sighting the newly-resident Ferruginous Pygmy Owl perched in a silk-oak tree. We saw 46 species including Orchard Oriole, Tri-clolored Heron, Cinnamon-rumped Seedeater and eight American White Pelicans which are part of the group of one-year-olds that spent the summer here. The breeding pelicans will come down this month.

On September 28, eight keen birders made the hike up to 7,500 feet along the "horizontal oak forest trail" at Las Trojes. We saw Greater Pewee, Hermit Thrush, Black and White Warber, Wilson's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Painted Redstart and an unexpected Slate-throated Redstart, out of a total of 28 species.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 119 species sighted around Lake Chapala in September:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ra,Ca)
Blackbird, red-winged (Jo)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (Ca,Ch)
Bunting, painted
Caracara, crested (Ra,Ca)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, brown-headed
Dove, common ground (Ca)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (Ca)
Dove, white-tipped
Duck, black-bellied whistling
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, ash-throated (Pz)
Flycatcher, dusky-capped (Tr)
Flycatcher, gray silky
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, sulphur-bellied
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, pied-billed (Ca,Jo)
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned (Tr,Av)
Hawk, white-tailed (Ra)
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American (Ra)
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kiskadee, great
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned (Sa)
Nightjar, buff-collared
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, orchard (Jo)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ra)
Owl, ferruginous pygmy
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, greater
Pewee, western wood
Phalarope, Wilson's (Ca)
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common
Roadrunner, greater (Sa,Ra)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least (Ca)
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shrike, loggerhead (Pz)
Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark (Ca)
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate (Ca)
Stilt, black-necked (Ca)
Stork, wood (Ca,Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree (Ca)
Tanager, hepatic
Tanager, western
Teal, green-winged (Ra)
Tern, Caspian (Ra)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Vireo, golden
Vireo, warbling (Ca)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white (Tr)
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, MacGillivray's
Warbler, red-faced (Tr)
Warbler, Townsend's (Tr)
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow (Jo)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy
Wren, house (Av)
Wren, spotted
Yellowlegs, lesser (Ca)
Yellowthroat, common (Jo)
Yellowthroat, gray-crowned (Ra)

Location codes:
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan
Ch - Chapala
Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
Dm - Dike near Malteraña
Dp - Dike near La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
La - La Cañada-Hidden Valley
Jo - Jocotepec
Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
Pe - Petatan area
Ps - Pumping Station/Santa Cruz
Pt - San Pedro Tesistan area
Pz - San Pedro Itzican area
Ra - Rosa Amarilla loop
Rc - Santa Rosa/Carnero dam
Rp - Riberas del Pilar & canyon
Sa - San Antonio/Allen Lloyd Trail
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/San Luis Soyatlan
Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas
Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are seeking information about birding in the area. We also like to hear about sightings of birds or nests at: or 376.766.1801. Check out the website:
The laminated folder "Quick Guide to the Birds of Lake Chapala" illustrating 150 local species can be purchased for $150 pesos at Diane Pearl Collecciones, Colon #1, in Ajijic.